On this beautiful Saturday afternoon, waking up with a horrible “Lone Star Hangover”, ready to do it again. Drink beer that is! The plan for the day is to travel to New Braunfels, TX to visit Guadalupe Brewing Company for their open house beer tasting event, and then drive to the nearby Faust Brewing Company for dinner and of course, more beer! The event at Guadalupe Brewing was from 1pm until 5pm, but with the slow sluggish start of the day for us, we didn’t leave our house in San Antonio until after 1pm. We met up our friends, Kyle and Shirley and off we went. Ventured down the dreadful 1604 to I35N route to New Braunfels, we hit major traffic, and was ready to turn around, but we must keep pushing on!!!!
Finally, we arrive to our first destination, Guadalupe Brewing Company, which was located down a very winding almost dirt road. Almost seemed like we were going the wrong way for a moment, but we came to where we needed to be. The Brewery is located in a large warehouse, holding up in only a small portion of the building. Very nice setup. I had purchased a pint glass and tickets, which gave me 6 samples, pretty good samples too, usually half a pint or more depending on the person pouring really!
The overall environment there was amazing. Lots of friendly people willing to talk to anybody about their love for craft beer and such. The talking became more apparent as the day went on. I wonder why? I do see a bright and respectable future for these New Braunfels craft beerians, and I hope more and more people give them a try.
Now to the best o f my knowledge, I will attempt to give a brief review of the beers I had.
Guadalupe IPA – From what i was told, this one to be named Big Bend IPA, but due to Big Bend Brewing Company, the fine folks at Guadalupe Brewing dropped the name without even being asked to. This was done out of respect for Big Bend Brewery. Now this was my first beer of the day, and remember I ha already woken up with a massive cheap beer hangover from the nigh the night before. It was such a pleasant drink as my first beer of the day. I can’t recall exact aromas/flavors so forgive me, but I do know it did not suck! How’s that for a review? Put that on Rate Beer or Beer Advocate. “This beer did not suck!”
Guadalupe Texas Honey Ale – I have had this beer before, drinking a pint or to over at The Friendly Spot, and at The Filling Station. I definitely get the aroma and taste of honey in this beer. It’s not overpowering or anything, but it is present. This is another enjoyable beer, and I will definitely drink this one again!
Guadalupe Rye IPA – Spices and citrus in both aroma and taste. For me, I always say that the rye helps give it a dry taste, or mouth feel, which I do like, cause I do not get this feeling with any other style of beer I have had lately. I would like to drink this one again on it’s own so I can give it a proper review.
Guadalupe Texas Honey Ale Small Sour Batch – Yup, they went and did it. They did a sour version of their Texas Honey Ale. If this would have been maybe 4-5 months ago, I wouldn’t have even have tried this one. It wasn’t until recently that I have started to enjoy the taste of sour beers. What I did like about this particular one was that it wasn’t overpoweringly sour. It was a great balanced beer with the sour and original flavor of the honey ale.
Guadalupe Lavender Texas Honey Ale – Again they experimented with their Texas Honey Ale by brewing a batch with lavender. I hate to do this, but this was my least favorite of the day. Lavender is such a unique taste for me. Maybe it’s cause everything we usually buy that is lavender is for the bathroom, like soaps, and candles and such. So mentally I am thinking I am drinking a damn candle here! haha! The smell of lavender is amazing to me, which is why we use it a lot at home, but I would prefer if they were to do this beer again, that the lavender be toned down a bit. I did finish the pint, and I actually had to wait a little bit to get the next beer cause m palette was wrecked at this point!
Guadalupe Barrel Aged Stout – Now, there was a bit of confusion with this beer. Originally it was written on the board as a Barrel Aged Imperial Red Ale, but after a little debate on that, our good friend Jeremy Banas of Ruination Press/Representative for Open The Taps got the scoop from the brewers themselves. It was said that it was actually a barrel aged Stout. OK, no big deal, so they got the name wrong at first. It was already nearing the end of the event and people were feeling pretty good at this point, so I’m sure a little mistake didn’t matter much. I know it didn’t bother me much. The beer was excellent! I am a huge fan of barrel aged beers. Good ‘ol bourbon barrels, you just have to love them! Aging a beer in them is just damn near perfection for me. I love the taste as you get the alcohol presence like if it was straight bourbon, but then the stout, like in this case comes forth in the after taste. I could probably go back and drink this one again and again and again!!!!
So my visit to Guadalupe Brewing Company came to an end at this point, and I can say it was an overall pleasant experience, and I will go back for another open house. I had a good time chatting up with people in the industry at this event. I look forward to more.
Onto the next location, The Historic Faust Hotel & Brewery. This place is awesome! The hotel itself was opened on October 12th, 1929 as the Traveler’s Hotel. The name was changed in 1939 to Faust Hotel, after the original owner Walter Faust Sr. The hotel now has become a Texas Historic Landmark. It is a very beautiful location, kept to the look of old. What better way to keep that old creepy feeling than a haunted hotel ghost story. Even in the Brewpub, they kept the bar looking like an old time pub. I just always feel like we should be dressed different when I walk in that place. It’s like walking into a time portal into the past when you visit this place.
The brewpub is located in the back of the ground level, and was opened to the public in 1998. This was my third time visiting the brewpub, as I love their beer and especially love their food. So this was a great way to top off my visit to New Braunfels for sure. I ordered their German Nachos, which are made up of home made chips, chopped bratwurst, sauerkraut, chopped bell pepper, and topped with their own beer cheese sauce, made with in house Blonde Ale. I get these every visit for sure.
As I had a good amount of beer at the Guadalupe Brewing Company open house event, I knew I wasn’t going to drink a lot of beers at Faust, so I was picky about which to have. I knew for sure I was going to have the Bourbon Barrel Imperial Dullahan Stout, which head brewer, Ray Mitteldorf told me about while at the Open House event earlier that day.
I started off by drinking a pint of Hell Fire Irish Red, which the name itself drew me to that beer first. I know, I know…typical Metal Head. We see “Hell” in a name and we get all excited! Haha! This was a good beer to start off with there, as by this time I was ready for more. It was a very good Irish Red, poured a medium reddish color with malty aroma, and taste. Nothing too complex, just a simple Irish Red. I’m glad I tasted it!
Now to end my visit to New Braunfels, and what batter way to do so than with a Bourbon Barrel aged Imperial Dullahan Stout. The last visit to Faust, they had their Alt Bourbon Barrel aged, and I was floored by that beer with it’s greatness, so I had high expectations for this one. I was not disappointed! The strong sweetness of the alcohol taste was perfect. Aroma of chocolate and alcohol blended so well. Crazy thing about this day is that this was my second beer of the day that was a Bourbon Barrel aged beer, and usually that would mean I would be crawling by now, but for some reason I was feeling great! In fact when I got back into town, I went over to a friend’s house and drank about 5 more pints ( 2 Red Rye IPAs, German Style Alt, Black IPA, and a Cranberry Porter) before actually calling it quits for the day.
In conclusion this was a perfect day for me. Had some great beers, and met some great people. I can not wait to do this again! Cheers to those who attended this event, and cheers to those who will go next time!